The snacking industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry and continues to grow, but is snacking really good for health?

We’ve all been there.  You know … the moment you’re in a slump or tired or bored or exhausted from your child not napping or simply surfing social media for much longer than you anticipated … it’s at these times we are so elusive to our self-care that we aimlessly get the “munchies.” We walk like programmed robots to our cupboards, refrigerators, counters, hidden stashes and grab whatever processed food will fill the need.  We consume numerous empty calories and regret it instantly … well, maybe not everyone. But fear not, let’s read on to some insight on snacking and how you can flip the switch to consciously choose healthier, fun and tastier snacks that will serve you mind and body.

First, know this … Global trends show more and more people preferring to snack or eat several smaller meals over eating three large meals during the day. In fact, 2019 brought in $210+ billion to the snacking industry. Since the pandemic, snacking has risen even further. Comfort, convenience, and cunning marketing make snacks appear healthier are some of the drivers for this are on the rise. The snack industry funnels a lot of money into market research focused on learning about consumer behaviors, trends, and other insights to shape how they market and package their foods to make you buy more. Turn the spotlight on yourself … Have you considered your snacking habits and the overall impact on your health and well-being?

Many times, we end up snacking as a means to “get through” to our next meal or as an alternative to eating larger meals. Studies suggest that the type of food you eat plays a greater role in overall health and well-being than the number of times you eat throughout the day. Research also indicates that those who snack more frequently throughout the day may be at risk for metabolic disease and other serious health conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and heart and blood vessel conditions. Before you reach for that next snack, consider the wisdom shared in the Initiative Booklet and choose the healthy option for your situation.


Did you know a slight shift or approach in your snack eating can begin your journey into a healthier realm of you?  It’s true.  Start small by creating positive eating habits to avoid snacking and eating unhealthy foods.  Here’s how to incorporate a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains

  • Add foods from the following categories each time you eat:

Protein: nuts, lentils, chia seeds, quinoa, meat, fish and eggs

Fat: olive oil, coconut oil, full-fat butter, nuts, seeds, olives, avocados, and coconut milk

Carbohydrate: whole grains, fruits, and veggies

  • Allow your body to rest, this includes a break from food. Consider this: Adequate sleep is essential to overall well-being. Observe your body and remove foods that may cause sleep disorders.  Stop eating at least two hours before going to bed; if you have to eat, make it something light. Consider Intermittent fasting, where you refrain from eating for 12-16 hours, as it has a very positive impact on metabolism, lowers blood sugar, and inflammation in the body, and gives your body a chance to digest.


ASK YOURSELF, “DO I REALLY NEED THIS?” • Ask yourself why you feel the need to eat and if it’s not hunger, walk away. • Ask yourself how you want to look and feel and whether this food, right now, will help you achieve your vision.

CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT • Have a discussion with those around you to see if something healthy can be provided, or be the one to create change! • Find an activity you can do instead of eating; take a 5-minute walk, call a friend, or change your environment.

DON’T BUY IT! • If snack and junk food is around, you’re more likely to eat it just because it’s there. • Purchase healthy options such as fresh fruits, veggies, and nuts instead.

IF YOU REALLY NEED IT… • Prepare a small meal rather than a quick “fix.” Give your body the nutrition that it needs so you can function at your best. • If you absolutely need a snack, come prepared with your own healthy ones.

Healthy snacking doesn’t need to be complicated.  Give yourself permission to do a “reset” and start anew.  It’s never too late. Your mind and body will thank you.  And, remember to stay hydrated … water is your friend too and great when you “think” you might need a snack.  Dress it up with some fresh fruit if you have to.  Enjoy curating your healthy snacks and feel free to click here to download the booklet for more guidelines.


Denise L. Wiggins, GWI Nutrition for Healthspan, Initiative Contributor




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